Distributed Computing Support
Management Team


Meeting Minutes

December 3, 2004

Members
Joe Adamo (Computing and IT Center), Troy Bacon (AVP Finance and Business Affairs and Controller), Craig Berry (School of Visual Arts), Ginger Boone (University Union), Allen Bradley (Computing and IT Center), Sandy Burke (Computing and IT Center), Tim Christian (College of Arts and Sciences), Chu Chuah (School of Community Service), Wil Clark (UNT System Center @ Dallas), Jim Curry (Microcomputer Maintenance/Classroom Support Services), Cyndie Harris (UNT Facilities), Mike Hatch (College of Business Administration), Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner (Student Computing Committee, Computing and IT Center),  Paul Hons (College of Education), Abraham John (VP Student Development), Scott Joyce (Housing), Brenda Kirk (Computing and IT Center), Maurice Leatherbury (Chair, Executive Director of Information Technology and Academic Computing), Burton Lee (College of Music), Mike Maner (Computing and IT Center), Gary Mathews (School of Library and Information Science), Dallas Newell (Enrollment Management), Bruce Pollock (ABN LAN Mgmt), Chris Strauss (Computing and IT Center), Brad Varcoe (Police Department), Mike Wright (Computing and IT Center), Yancey Yeargan (College of Engineering), Roy Zumwalt (Texas Academy of Math and Science)

Members Present
Joe Adamo (Computing and IT Center), Troy Bacon (AVP Finance and Business Affairs and Controller), Craig Berry (School of Visual Arts), Ginger Boone (University Union), Allen Bradley (Computing and IT Center), Sandy Burke (Computing and IT Center), Tim Christian (College of Arts and Sciences), Chu Chuah (School of Community Service), Wil Clark (UNT System Center @ Dallas), Mike Hatch (College of Business Administration), Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner (Student Computing Committee, Computing and IT Center), Paul Hons (College of Education), Abraham John (VP Student Development), Maurice Leatherbury (Chair, Executive Director of Information Technology and Academic Computing), Mike Maner (Computing and IT Center), Gary Mathews (School of Library and Information Science), Dallas Newell (Enrollment Management), Chris Strauss (Computing and IT Center), Mike Wright (Computing and IT Center), Yancey Yeargan (College of Engineering), Roy Zumwalt (Texas Academy of Math and Science)

Guests
TJ Adamowicz (Police Department), Philip Baczewski (Computing and IT Center), John Berra (Libraries), Travis Brown (Computing and IT Center), Jim Byford (ABN LAN Mgmt), Brendan Carroll (ABN Lan Mgmt), Christopher D. Cofer (Computing and IT Center), Daren Dugan (Computing and IT Center), Dan Glass (Computing and IT Center), Jason Gutierrez (Computing and IT Center), Tracy Hansen (Computing and IT Center), Richard Harris (Computing and IT Center), Lee Haughton (Facilities), Scott Jackson (Libraries),  Matt Kernan (Computing and IT Center), Jason Myre (Computing and IT Center), Robert Nimocks (UNT Health Science Center at Ft. Worth), Charlotte Russell (Computing and IT Center), Richard Sanzone (Computing and IT Center), Jackie Stanczyk (School of Community Service), Yoke Teo (Computing and IT Center), Craig Terrell (Computing and IT Center), Glenn Thorpe
(Computing and IT Center), Jon Walker (Computing and IT Center), Scott Windham (Computing and IT Center), David Wright (Computing and IT Center)

Approval of Minutes
Minutes from November 5, 2004 and November 19, 2004 were approved with changes.

Password Aging Process
Philip Baczewski reported that as of 8:30 am this morning, 64% of passwords had been reset.  On November 2, 2004 over 50% had been reset. 2/3 of active faculty and staff accounts have password expirations set to expire in 2005. The Health Science Center is at 27% but their use of the euid and password may not be as pervasive as UNT Denton. The plan to expire student passwords (those that have not been changed) will continue as scheduled on December 31, 2004.  Philip will send password information to network managers. 

Dell or HP Servers
Maurice Leatherbury provided a history of how discussions of "Dell versus HP" [servers] came about.  DCSMT minutes from September of 1998 indicated that Microcomputer Maintenance announced they would no longer support servers. Allen Bradley announced that he would begin supporting Compaq servers.  Since that time, Network Computing Services has been supporting Compaq equipment (i.e., maintenance, spare parts, etc.).  Currently, there are approximately 200 HP servers on campus and CITC spends approximately $10,000-15,000 per year stocking spare parts. 

About one year ago, Dell made an attempt to bring their servers to campus. It was decided that their product did not meet expectations. Since then, Dell has gotten aggressive about meeting with UNT.  Dell is working to adopt enterprise operations and is now competitive with HP. 

Offering CITC aggressive pricing on their equipment, CITC purchased SAN and fiber channel switches.  At the time of purchase, CITC did not have alternative pricing from HP.  Now, CITC is interested in Dell because they appear to have cheaper pricing.  Recent comparable quotes from Dell and HP show a price difference of only $100-200 on low end servers. (HP is slightly more expensive because they believe their equipment is better quality.)

Both Dell and HP want UNT's business.  At this point, it is difficult to know if pricing will remain consistently cheaper.  Maurice has spoken with other universities within the state. Texas Tech adopted Dell and is looking at comparable pricing.  SMU and TCU are HP customers and both are happy with HP. 

Maurice is concerned about cheaper pricing but asked DCSMT if it is worth the trauma of switching to a new platform.

There are three options:

1)      Continue using HP.  All  departments who choose Dell will have to purchase their own parts with no CITC support.

2)      Adopt Dell in addition to maintaining spare parts for as long as we have them.

3)     Go to dual model: work with both Dell and HP.  It is more expensive to go this route.  The costs will add an additional $15,000-20,000 per year and spare parts will need to be stocked.  

There may also be issues with the amount of time associated with acquisition of the products, however,  Robert Nimocks reported that the Health Science Center buys HP servers from a local HUB dealer.  The server arrives within 5-6 days.  He is not sure if he wants to move to a dual environment.  

There was much debate about issues that included purchasing delays, vendor delivery delays, and poor HP customer service. No decision will be made at this time.  CAS will evaluate Dell equipment that was recently purchased.  (They purchased a three year lease with Dell.)  Near the end of the FY05 academic year, CAS will provide an update on support issues.

Old Business
None.

New Business
None.

Status Reports
Glenn Thorpe reported that CITC machines running NetMeeting were recently compromised.  Beginning this afternoon, he will begin scanning the entire network for ports that NetMeeting uses.  CITC is searching for better solutions to the product.  More information will be provided as it becomes available.  

Elizabeth Hinkle Turner reported that she is working to acquire Adobe product training coursework.  She is also working to acquire e-Learning. 

Troy Bacon reported that he ordered 120 new computers from MMS.  They are due to arrive next week. XP will be rolled out within the next couple of months. 

Craig Berry reported that 20 machines in SOVA were sending out large amounts of traffic.  They were all running Windows 2000.  All machines have been remediated.  The majority of machines were faculty machines.  It’s been a very busy week.

Mike Maner reported that they have been delivering bad news to SOVA and CITC.  

Scott Windham reported that he scanned the network and did not find any fingerprints for NetMeeting.  However, NetMeeting is still in use in CITC. He has also been dealing with bandwidth issues. 

Craig Terrell reported that student storage has been upgraded from 25mg to 100 mg.  To date, there have been no problems.    

Mike Hatch reported that all flat panel monitors have been sold.  They are being replaced with 21” monitors. 

Cathy Gonzales reported that servers are up and running.  EIS has been dealing with security problems.   

Maurice reported that an architect has been selected for the CITC move to the Research Park.  He also reported that one his new objectives is to increase mobility for students.

Joe Adamo reported that communications is making progress on the wide area network.  A loop (DS3's) will be made between the Research Park and the Health Science Center.  The primary link to Richardson will also be upgraded. Circuits will be ordered and should arrive sometime in February.

Tim Christian reported that he is evaluating system monitoring tools (i.e., Nagios, MOM).  Tim also reported CAS set up firewalls on support machines. 

Paul Hons reported that COE would like to add storage objects to Student containers (UNTSS).  Paul also reported that there have been issues with Intellisync.  He is investigating other products.

Sandy Burke reported that the Helpdesk has been responding to questions about password expirations.  

Philip reported the application that supports course evaluation surveys and data analysis is no longer available due to the demise of the mainframe.  Analysis was primarily provided for academic departments. RSS is available to assist departments who wish to view their data or who wish to develop data for course evaluation surveys.   

Philip also reported that Data Entry is now under Academic Computing.  He is also investigating the acquisition of a site license for a Mat lab (a mathematics processing tool).  A number of areas on campus are already using the product for instruction and research.  Philip will provide more information as it becomes available.

Wil Clark reported that life is good and he upgraded equipment.

The meeting adjourned at 11:45 am.

 


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